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Play Looks at Plight of Immigrants Seeking the “American Dream”


“No Roosters in the Desert,” a play revolving around the plight of four women trekking across the Sonoran desert towards the “American dream,” will open the 2012-13 MainStage season at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU).

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. In addition, the performance will run at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27.

The play follows the four women as they push the limits of their physical and emotional endurance and establish profound yet fragile connections with each other through the magical storytelling of the youngest of them, an indigenous woman from Chiapas.

“This play is about the people behind the headlines and statistics,” said Heidi Winters Vogel, chair of theater, who is the director.

Written by Kara Hartzler, a 1994 EMU alumnus, “No Roosters in the Desert” is based on actual interviews by Anna Ochoa O’Leary, assistant professor of practice in Mexican-American studies at the University of Arizona.

Hartzler describes her work as ” …trying to portray them [the play’s characters] as multi-faceted human beings who find themselves in a critical situation and respond by being courageous, flawed, noble, selfish, endearing, and maddening—as emotionally rich as any Shakespearean character.”

Reserved tickets are $10 for adults ($12 at the door), and $8 for seniors & non-EMU students ($10 at the door). Tickets are available through the EMU box office at 540-432-4582 or emu.edu/boxoffice. Group rates are available.


Makayla Baker, a first-year student from Augusta, WVa.

Amanda Chandler, a junior from Harrisonburg, Va.

Meggan E. Garcia Sheridan, a first-year student from Wheaton, Ill.

Rose Jantzi, a junior from Harrisonburg, Va.

Joo-Ah Lee, a sophomore from Fairfax, Va.

Chris Parks, a first-year student from Philadelphia, Pa.

Morgan E. Porter, a senior from Richmond, Va.

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